[CCWG-ACCT] A way to avoid the 'The Single Member Can Do Anything!' problem

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Wed Sep 30 19:25:02 UTC 2015

Keith, I think that this is a pretty good summary of all of the 
comments that I heard as well.

It is far more than just the use of statutory powers that Fadi seemed 
to reference at the end of yesterday's call.


At 30/09/2015 01:15 PM, Drazek, Keith wrote:
>Thanks Nigel.
>In no particular  order, my interpretation of the Board's written 
>comments, what we heard in Los Angeles and from Fadi yesterday is:
>-- Introducing a different governance structure, i.e. membership, is 
>new, untested, and cannot be proven to resist capture in the limited 
>time available to meet the September 2016 date.
>-- Shifting authority from the Board to an untested membership body 
>is potentially destabilizing and will be difficult or impossible to 
>sell as not introducing risk at a delicate time.
>-- If we're going to shift authority, we must also shift a 
>commensurate level of accountability, and the current SOs and ACs do 
>not have sufficient accountability at this time.
>-- ICANN and its SOs/ACs need to be safe from capture from outside 
>and from within; empowering the SOs and ACs without clear safeguards 
>is problematic.
>-- Concentrating power in a new "sole membership" body is not 
>balanced if it doesn't include all community members, and two groups 
>(SSAC and RSSAC) have said they want to remain advisory.
>-- Shifting from consensus-based decision-making to reliance on a 
>voting structure is not consistent with the multi-stakeholder model.
>-- The CCWG recommendation is too complex and difficult to 
>explain/understand, so we need to make smaller, incremental changes 
>that are more easily implemented and understood.
>-- A recommendation requiring a substantial governance restructuring 
>will suggest that ICANN is currently broken -- a politically risky 
>message going into the transition.
>I'm obviously not in a position to speak for the Board, but that's 
>my non-legalistic reading of the concerns.  I'd be happy to be 
>corrected if my interpretation is off-base.
>That was a reply to your question (a).  I can't respond to question (b).
>-----Original Message-----
>From: accountability-cross-community-bounces at icann.org 
>[mailto:accountability-cross-community-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf 
>Of Nigel Roberts
>Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 12:46 PM
>To: accountability-cross-community at icann.org
>Subject: Re: [CCWG-ACCT] A way to avoid the 'The Single Member Can 
>Do Anything!' problem
>Let's be Frank, here.
>I'm not entirely unreceptive to the view expressed to me by at least 
>one Board member regarding the idea of a quick win.
>HOWEVER, despite the fairly emphatic nature of the Board's objection 
>to membership model, I do not believe I have read or heard any 
>rationale or reasons for their, apparently unanimous, position.
>Personally I have serious doubts about the Single Member model, 
>although, probably, they are not the same doubts as the Board's.
>But that is the outcome of this WG, and it should not tear up months 
>of work without a rationale. This is simply the IFWP and history 
>repeating itself, otherwise.
>Apparently there is some legal difference of opinion between Sidleys 
>and Jones Day on the technicalities. But I do not beleive that can 
>be the only reason.
>So, can someone please explain, in simply, preferable non legalistic terms why
>(a) the CCWG proposal is unsuitable
>(b) the Board's proposal is more suitable.
> > That said, I'm not confident this would resolve the Board's 
> concerns with membership, so we will need to consider all options 
> available to deliver community empowerment, including variations of 
> the sole designator implementation.
> >
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